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Terrorism in Mali

Series/Special. Senate hearing on the situation in Mali.

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Algeria 31, U.s. 22, Niger 17, Us 15, Libya 15, United States 14, Mali 13, Syria 11, Tunisia 9, Iran 9, Washington 7, Mauritania 7, Asia 7, Timbuktu 7, Europe 7, Narco 6, Africa 6, North Africa 6, Mnla 6, Obama Administration 5,
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  CSPAN    Terrorism in Mali    Series/Special. Senate  
   hearing on the situation in Mali.  

    February 4, 2013
    12:30 - 3:59am EST  

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>> if the prime minister it agrees the shortage of binging skills our greatest threat, and anticipation rate of women in engineering is scandalously floated willie encourage his colleagues to inspire young people to take on the challenging and well-paying careers in engineering whether graduates or apprentices? >> i will certainly very carefully at the bill that my right honorable friend puts forward. i would say that in these recent data released today, one of the encouraging signs is the number of people studying engineering and computer science has actually gone up quite radically. as an early sign that the steps that have been taken frankly overreaching by governments of all parties to try to raise the status of engineering and encouraging engineering are beginning to have an effect. >> this government has just introduced two new tax base which will cause people who own the oh, no, between 25 and
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35,000 pounds per family. why is he choosing to put a block on the aspirations of young people who want to build their own home? >> we are encouraging people to build a own home and buy their own homes, not least by the reform of the planning system that has seen the planning guidance come from 1000 pages to 50 pages. that's why we are also encouraging the right to buy. and if honorable members opposite want to help, they might want to talk to the labour of 40s that are continually knocking people from buying the council or having association homes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. will my right honorable friend wish to congratulate the company in my constituency, but taking advantage of the capital of laos is announced and the autumn statement of purchase to 1.3 million pounds, that will create six new jobs under -- i
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certain to my honorable friend in welcoming that investment it is experience in campaign history logic did have an effect in bringing forward these proposals on capital allowances. it's absolutely clear a lot of businesses do have money locked up in a balance sheets that we want to see invested, and i believe that these capital allowances are good with encouraging businesses to bring forth that sort of investment. >> david is severely disabled and has a medical need for an extra room in his home. why is the government he leads taking 676 pounds a year away from him in order to pay for a tax cut for the richest? >> what i would say to the honorable gentleman if we put in place a 30 million-pound discretionary fund to help in particular cases like the one that he raises. but we do have an overall situation where the housing
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benefit budget is now 23 billion pounds. that is only 10 billion pounds less than the entire defense budget. it's not good enough for members opposite to oppose welfare cut after will forgot, to propose welfare spend after welfare spend, while they realize that we're dealing with the mess they left. >> does the prime minister agree with the leader of the opposition talked about the economy, he sounds just like an extraordinary undertaker looking forward to a hard one to? does he not accept that you cannot get out of a debt crisis by borrowing more money? >> my honorable friend makes a very good point. the fact is the economy that we inherited was completely unbalanced. it was based on housing but it was based on finance. it was based on government spending and those based on immigration. those were for incredibly unstable pillars for sustained economic growth. what we that it is a major
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recovery operation. that operation is still underway but you can see in the new jobs created in the private sector businesses that are expanding them into new people signing up the businesses we are making progress. >> george galloway. [shouting] >> following yesterday's announcement, will the prime minister -- [inaudible] the key differences between the and chopping, crosscutting jihadists, fighting a dictatorship and valley that we are announced to kill, and the equally bloodthirsty jihadists that we're giving money, material, political and diplomatic support to in syria, has the prime minister read frankenstein, and did he read it to the end? >> well, something's come and go but there's one thing that is a
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certain. whatever there is a brutal arab dictator in the world he will have the support of the honorable gentleman. [shouting] >> order, order. last but not least, mr. whitaker. >> thank you, mr. speaker. we can definitely -- we can definitely do without them. will my right on of a friend, the prime minister, told the house whether he will be taking seriously the liberal democrats ministers who are queuing up today to resign their posts after batting against the government in last nights vote for? >> what i would say to my honorable friend clearly there's a profound disagreement about this issue but i would say to everyone in the house of commons who voted for an oversize house of commons and unequal constituency boundaries that are both costly and unfair, they will have to justify that to their constituents. >> you have been watching prime
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minister's questions from the british house of commons. it airs live on c-span two on wednesday when they house of commons is in session, and again on sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific. watch any time on c-span.org. next, a discussion about the situation in northern mali and its impact on neighboring countries. then, a look at foreign policy challenges facing the obama administration. after that, a discussion about the state of women's rights around the world. >> if you have some hotshot who just got his phd in computer science from stanford, she is getting offers from all over the world. to say you can stay in some limbo for six years, that is not really competitive. >> congress can do a lot.
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you do not have to be efficient on your iphone or blackberry to understand the application of policy and what makes it work and does not. >> it is very difficult to make investment decisions and expect any kind of return on investment when you have no way to predict the future. our difficulty right now is that there is no consistency or certainty in in our policy decisions. >> the government's role in technology and policy, from this years ces international consumer electronics show. monday night on the communicators on c-span2. >> at age 65, she was the oldest first lady when her husband became president. she never set foot in washington. her husband, benjamin harrison, died one month after his inauguration. meet anna harrison and the other people who served as first lady over 44 administrations. first ladies, influence and image, their public and private lives, interest, and influence
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on the president. season one begins presidents' day, february 18 at 9 p.m. eastern and pacific. >> the atlantic council hosted a discussion on the conflict in mali and stability in that part of africa. french troop surge continuing their advance into areas recently held by islamist militants. this began last year when the government was overthrown in a military coup. separatist groups in the north began fighting for independence shortly after and gained control of a large part of the country. this is two hours. >> good afternoon.
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my name is peter, i am the director of the michael africa center here at the atlantic council. on behalf of the chairman of the atlantic council, senator chuck hagel, our president and ceo fred kemp, it is our pleasure to welcome you this afternoon for this discussion on managing the crisis in mali. before introducing today's topic, permit me to say a word about the councils africa center for the benefit of the audience, those who are new to us were joining us for the first time via television or the internet. the africa center was established in september, 2009,
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with a mission to help transform u.s. and other healthy approaches to africa by emphasizing the building of strong geopolitical partnerships with african states and strengthening economic growth and prosperity on the continent. the center seeks to engage and inform with policymakers in the general public of the strategic importance of effort that. both globally and for american and european interest in particular. a subject which obviously -- a commitment you share by joining us today. of strategic importance. we do this for -- a robust media presence. we worked promote constructive us leadership and engagement in international affairs is done the central role of the atlantic community in meeting international challenges. the africa center supports and collaborates with product -- public and private sectors,
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giving practical solutions to the challenges in africa. on that none of the practical solutions is that we put together this panel today. i am pleased to discuss these issues. strategic importance of what is going on in mali, specific importance for u.s. and european interests as well as for the security and stability of the region and africa as a whole. we have a very distinguished panel. one that is uniquely qualified to discuss the topic at hand. i thank my colleagues for agreeing to be with us today. some at more than a little inconvenience and sacrifice on their own part erie it i am very grateful for that. the biographies were distributed at the beginning of the panel. i will not consume time reviewing it. just a few notes. we will have lieutenant colonel rudolph who is now a senior fellow here at the africa
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center. before his retirement in 2009, he served as africa counterterrorism director in the office of the secretary of defense. he was also, for the last of those years, country director for morocco and tunisia. earlier in his career, did quite a bit of work which we will see john out, up in northern mali. very delighted to have him on our team at the africa center, as well as as a friend. also delighted to have another ,ld friend, dr. ricardo rené dr. of science at binghamton university on islam. he has been a colleague, i
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might mention that he and i are editing a book together on the north african revolutions. delighted to have him as a scholar of the region and a friend and our wives have become friends as well. it is in the family, so to speak. last but not least, this dr. is a political scientist and senior fellow at the middle east program of the carnegie endowment. and author of quite a number of works, some quite prescient in their timing on al qaeda. you have their biographical notes for fuller details. one thing not in the notes, i cannot resist mentioning that while there are few discussions of the crisis in mali going around washington, this will be
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the only one where the panel speakers includes individuals who have been -- broken bread with someone at his home. there is a level of granularity that will be interesting. hopefully we will find that familiarity does not breed contempt. actually a respect for the reality. one final note, we will propose some solutions and it is at the end, i think our chief mission is to emphasize how much is not known. how much needs to be known. how much is complex and all of this. if there is anything to be learned from the crisis in mali in the last year, we have to acknowledge a failure and
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political vision and intelligence. we went around and believed our own mantras. by we, i mean the international community at large. a certain government entity in this town produced a report to congress which declared that molly is a poster child -- mali is a poster child. another department cited it as an oasis and a model. all the while the democratically elected government was declining and presiding over states and decline. it fell 30 places over the course of several years. where there is smoke there must be fire. without justifying unjustifiable coup d'états, one has to acknowledge that we have perhaps taken the i out of the larger
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picture in focusing. that is fruitful discussion for later. without further ado, one returns over to the panel. -- let me turn this over to the panel. >> thank you. it is an honor to be here. i recognize a lot of faces. bear with me in the beginning, i will start at the 50,000 foot level (down a little bit. -- then pare down a little bit. to get a feel for what is going on in the region. when d colonialization happened in africa in the 1950 dose0's oe group was pushing for political autonomy, often sparking conflict. as we approach mali in the 1960,
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tensions were already there. by 1962, we see the beginning of the first rebellion. 1962-1964. not all the groups in the north were on board with the rebellion. with the help of france, the fledgling government was able to crash -- crushed the uprising. in that process, a couple of things happened. one interesting thing, for those of you following the events, you have a guy named -- during that time. his father, who is from another tribe, had gone in and joined bomb go -- bomaco in his truck going north. -- trek going north, he was killed.
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so there is still a grudge there, which make up the bulk of the military fighting force. you can see there are some tribal tensions already from the beginning. another father was also killed during this rebellion, he is the head of the and and la's military section. -- mnla's military section. ,etween the 1970's and 1980's right before that there was a migration of tuareg's throughout the region. as some of you know, the tuareg 's are not only indigenous to mali, but five countries within the region. during the oil boom of the 1970's and 1980's, many tuareg migrating north, primarily into nigeria which was producing oil into libya. many of them found jobs. during the oil crash, many returned back to their land of
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residents. now we are looking for something to do. that kind of set the stage for the second rebellion, which took as in the 1990's. during the second rebellion, something very similar to what happened last year occurred back then. we had a rebellion at the same time we had, shortly after a coup that took place in mali. then there was a regime change. in this cobbling together some of the whole time that the tuareg had grievances -- well before the independence in the 1960's. some of these grievances, there are several, but just cutting them down, one is discrimination from southern ethnic roots which governed mali following independent. these discriminations or what is creating the tension today between north and south. i normally say, there is racism between north and south. or was a fear that land reform would threaten their privileged
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access to agriculture. when you live in the sahara area, you have to rely on capitals. whether the cells are the one up on the mediterranean side. basics of life, flower, things that allow you to exist in that harsh environments. there was a concern that national elites would distort -- destroy the tuareg's. the one thing i discovered, they call themselves the people. their recognition is their whole culture is in their language are. after independence, we see a pattern of forcing the tuareg children to learn southern linkages -- languages and pushing out the tuareg language and culture.
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fast forward after the rebellion, we move into it a period of temporary peace and stability. algeria had stepped in and there was an agreement, i will not go into the details. we can bring this up in the discussions. we will move forward to the years of 2006-2009, 1 there was a third rebellion. all coming back to grievances that the tuareg were never dealt with. during 2006-2009, there was an interesting dynamic. ) the time when narco trafficking was starting to grow. trafficking started to take solid root inside molly wright around -- mali right around 2005. you also have gs pc entering the northern part of molly. -- mali.
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moving forward, you see a third rebellion. all these groups that were up there, the narco trafficking trade coming through, they start to flourish in their own ways. you have disaster going on. gs pc sided with the narcotraffickers who are primarily arabs. for the most part, you have about 35 different families. there are certain families that were deeply involved in norco trafficking. -- narco trafficking. they are a minority of the ethnic groups in the north. the tuareg would raid these convoys of trucks going through. what we end up seeing is arabs and gs pc linking themselves together and having a unity against the tuareg, who are
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rating the drug convoys and also did not want gspc in their area. in 2006, the tuareg rose up and tried to throw gspc members out of there. they had three clashes. they took heavy losses. they remember that until today. towards the tail end of the rebellion going to 2009, the rebellion was crushed. it was a combination of militia forces, molly military -- mali military, outside influences, internal influences, some of the act ears involved -- actors involved leave from there and enter into libya. one of them is the man going in and out of libya.
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-- bahanga. approaching 2011, there is additional talk about getting our grievances settled. all of a seven, libya starts to break down. bahanga saw the writing on the wall and said, how do i take it vantage of this? he went in and connected with several tuareg who are already conscripted into qaddafi's military. primarily the desert units. he convinced them that if qaddafi false, maybe we can take advantage of this and take some of the weapons. now we are better equipped. we bring well trained individuals. we come back to mali and lay down the law and say, we want our grievances dealt with. in the process of this happening, in the summer of 2011, bahanga dies in a mysterious car accident.
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i have never gotten a true answer whether he was actually killed, or whether it was a true accident. but several tuareg said agreed, so they get together and meet in a vice -- place in the northern part of molly -- mali near the nigerian border and discuss what went wrong in previous rebellions and how do we deal with our grievances. they said, there are several things that we did not do in previous rebellions. we did not have good media press. we did not know how to tell the world what we were doing. they relied on the use -- youth who had studied abroad, and pushed forward on the media front. they learned they were not a cohesive group areas we need to bring the groups together and
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make sure everyone is part of the group. after discussing this, they formed amnthe mnla & groups from the north to tell the president they had grievances and they wanted to table them. this process goes on from september and october 2011, for 3.5 months. the former president decides to drag his feet. according to the tuareg in the north, the way it was exciting to me, he dragged his feet -- explained to me, he dragged his feet but began sending troops to the north to crush them for a potential fourth rebellion. they were watching this whole time, they were well-equipped -- as a side note, a guy came back on the scene who is part of the past rebellions. he wanted to be part of this mnla group. they did not like -- his beliefs
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were starting to become a little bit more nonsecular, and during the third rebellion around 2007, he had flipped sides on them. he was with the rebellion, later on he went down to support the other side and overthrow his brethren in the north. they said no, we do not want you to be a part of it. he said, fine. the fourth rebellion begins in january of 2012. 2.5 months, a combination of and other groups take over molly. -- mali. jurors were pushed out of the region. then what happens, discussions begin. they discuss what they want to
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do with north in terms of governance. mnla did not have a good handle on how to control the vast region. they were relying on these groups to figure it out. the whole time, these groups are looking for a time to elbow themnla out. this successfully did that in june 2012. they were successfully sidelined. they went towards the west. how are we doing on time? good. so, ever since -- during this. of time -- this period of time, there was some confusion. people were saying that mnla were islamists, other saying that they were not. this confusion, i still find it in today with discussions with the bow. interestingly, during a time when the islamists a load them out of the region, they almost -- they tried to kill the
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president of the mnla. luckily, he did not die. during this. period, the islamists were smart enough and using mlnla flags on some of their vehicles and would commit atrocities. i am not saying that the mnla are totally clean, but a lot of these things were blamed on them. i believe it was october 2012, two videos were released and they were done by a media wing, showing the killings in two places of malian soldiers. they were taking responsibility for these two things. prior to that, they blamed it completely on the mnla.
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saying they were the what we have is a very complex situation in the north. we have a secular mnla that wants to remain secular and they have a bunch of grievances. they say, we have fairly good representation from various ethnic groups. the chief is on the side of the chief of the tuareg discussed several things. january 9, 70 traditional chiefs met on the algerian border to continue discussing and streamlining how they would operate in the north and remains secular and make sure everybody
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was on board. you have bad and you have -- it has become a little smaller. i do not think there is any doubt in my mind that he is not. he is an interesting note -- it is an interesting group because they are made up of some radical elements that are very much in the camp, but the bulk of them are made up of narco traffickers. they were financing of two. where they began to go out and burned cigarettes out in the streets and say -- they were financing it to the point where they began to go out and burned cigarettes out in the streets.
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aqim, that is literally running the show. what we have today is the french rapidly took over and they have done a good job so far. however, i think there are certain things the french are going to need help with because the period we are entering in is a long period of insurgency that will have to be discussed. i will stop here so other folks can talk. >> thank you for setting up that context. we will now go to ricardo. give us some background. >> thank you, peter. i would like to comment in my presentation, discuss six points -- i would like to, in my presentation, discuss six points. the first point i want to talk
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about is the consequences of a fall of the gaddafi regime and what that means for the region. there is an article in this morning's foreign policy saying that what has transpired in mali is not the consequence of what transpired in libya. i think that analysis is mistaken. secondly, as part of 0.1, -- 0.1, we need to recognize that there is an emerging part of instability that began said in libya, parks down through mali, and has avoided niger and embraces northern nigeria. examining this question needs to be understood from a regional perspective rather than a
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national perspective. the second point i would like to discuss are the emerging resistance groups within mali and how they are similar and how they are different not only in terms of their political objectives, but also in terms of their ethnic divisions that exist among these three different groups. more specifically, aqim -- understanding of these ethnic and political differences that will provide us with an opportunity to understand not only how these groups are different, but whether there were opportunities to create schisms among these groups. the third point i would like to
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address is the arrangements of military forces between the emollient army -- malian army and these insurgents. the fourth point i would like to address is what it will take to reconstitute the army, which would play a role in it reconstituting the malian states which is on the verge of becoming a failed state. the fifth point is the question of whether an insurgency would arise in mali and whether there are variations with regards to the possibilities of insurgency depending upon city and region. last comment i would like to address what the united states should contemplate with regards to its own actions in the
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region. even before your the u.s. government -- even before the u.s. government decided that it was going to participate in a nato exercise to essentially dismantle the gaddafi regime in libya, i knew as that decision was going to be taken that there would be consequences throughout. the region -- muammar gaddafi provided a regime of stability that was provided by his provision of direct economic benefits to the region, not only in terms of investment, but also in terms of direct transfers of ies.y i
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it was predictable that upon his demised not only with those economic benefits be removed, but that tuareg soldiers would no longer be on the payroll. no longer being on the payroll, they would then have to return to their countries of origin because there were no longer employed. in the context of his demise, two very important arms depots were made available in tripoli and heavy armaments were looted and fell into the hands of those who would subsequently as they move- forward and connected with some secular resistance fighters. that was the first point. the second point we need to
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examine it is that in the context of what transpired in libya, we have the resistance movement and as my colleague has explained, there has been resistance in northern mali among the of tuareg with regard to the government. it can be traced to the 1960's, but has manifested itself to the present time. recognizing that there have been these resistance movements and diplomatic interventions by the algerian government to recognize these groups or reconcile them comment nevertheless, if one does fieldwork in northern mali or if one conduct surveys in northern mali, it is clear that the
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people of northern mali who belong, at their aspiration is for autonomy within the region. as part of this discussion with regard to policy, one of the things we have to recognize is that the immediate demand is autonomy. it is arguable that at a time as relationship between the north and south may be the modus operon date that will provide some reconciliation between the north and south. the only source of income in the north is contraband, whether it is cocaine or cigarettes or the movement of labor. it is clear that we need to contemplate as part of this policy discussion when we think about the reconstitution of the
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state, and an autonomous relationship between the north and south. when we engage that question of autonomy, we were then confronted with a situation highly similar to what i call the kurdistan-turkey relationship. it is clear that the creation of autonomy for the kurds in northern iraq could play a role in providing greater social and political harmony in iraq. however, the creation of that autonomous zone creates instability within turkey. the creation of the autonomous zone in mali was lead to greater social cohesion and possibly the reconstitution of the state. however, the accomplishment of that objective would be
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contested by the algerians, who would see it as destabilizing the jury itself. analytically, -- disabling algeria itself. -- destabilizing algeria itself. we have to think about how the algerians would perceived that relationship. this goes to what we need to be discussing as part of my presentation. as we move forward, what productive relationship can we have with the algerians because they have the largest army in the region? they have the best intelligence networks in the region, and as the pivotal states in the region, and they need to be engaged as we move forward. back and be part of the round table later. -- that can be part of the round
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table later. that addresses the question of autonomy, but even within that section, there are three groups. al qaeda -- arguably the smallest of the group, most linked to algeria, most aligned to the jihadist perspective and still committed, at least on paper, to establishing a serious state in algeria -- a sure real- estate in algeria. they are not the most important -- sharia state in algeria. the most important player from a political point of view -- however, even with the end, it
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is important to recognize that they are both islamist and non- islamist components. even when we think about the second after -- recently broken off cut, if we were to perceive them as purely a jihadist it would cause us to fall to comprehend. it has internal conflicts within it. he is the most important descendants of the clan. i have met him on several locations and although he is a pious muslim, he is interested
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in a collaborative relationship with the government. it puts him in a difficult position because he wants what is best for the plant -- clan economically. at the same time, he has to deal with the radical elements within his own community. it is sort of an american politician who is confronted with various constituencies within its district. let's say you are a republican, a pragmatic conservative in the tea party and you have to keep both of them happy. there are internal divisions. you mentioned the question of drug trafficking. there is also an important
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ethnic dimension. they have greater participants -- fewer from the elite. not only engaged in narcotics trafficking, but they represent different ethnic constituencies. these are things we have to comprehend to not fall asleep -- falsely categorize these groups as being radical or being secular. these groups are composed of communities of people who hold different political positions. as in any family, that they have
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to reconcile. you are still cousins at the end of the day. let me give you point 3. the question of military analysis. before the coup d'etat in mali, the government and police forces numbered 7300. in my conversations before this, he said that is now about 6000. the islamist forces are numbered approximately 12,500. they are outnumbered and the government is outnumbered. i have been in e-mail communications with a soldier from the army. he was on top of a pickup truck with a machine gun that was not even properly bolted on the
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pickup truck. as he was fighting, all of his comrades retreated. he had to retreat as well. they're outgunned and they're out manta. if they're going into battle with the pickup truck that does not have it properly bolted machine-gun and they are facing forces that have arms that were taken from tripoli, it is clear that this is not a fair fight. let me get to the fourth, fifth, and six points rather quickly. we need to think about how the
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malian state and army are to be reconstituted. there is not a state right now. that endeavor is going to take great deal of time. the united states policy community needs to determine whether it is in its interest for the state to be reconstituted and for the army to be reconstituted. if we accept that there is an emerging ark of instability that is going from libya into mali into northern nigeria, it answers the question of whether we need to play a role in reconstituted the state and the army. then we have to determine what resources the united states can
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accomplish those objectives. i do not think that the u.s. army should play a grand role in the constitution of the malian army because we have had an ephemeral role in the region. the key -- the peacekeeping institute has been staffed by french and canadians and west africans for a very long. of time. it would seem to make more sense for us to provide support to those people already on the ground. lastly, it is clear that the quick french capture of timbuktu means the next phase of the struggle began, which is a question of insurgency.
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if there is an insurgency, what would be the probability of success? i am glen to go out on a lan i will say that -- i am going to go out on a lemon, the possibility of greatest insurgency is going to be -- limb, the possibility of the greatest insurgency. the middle ground for insurgency will be timbuktu. in timbuktu, they do not have the support of the majority of the population, but it has the support of a significant minority of the population. the possibility of insurgency will be leased -- that is the area where they have the smallest base for social support. but the united states should do,
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we will reserve to the last round of this discussion. >> thank you very much, ricardo int. -- ricardo. last, but not least -- >> thank you for having me. i was asked to address algeria and the conflict in mali. the hostage crisis in algeria has demonstrated the limits of the approach to fighting violent extremism. since the end of the 1990's, algerians have wanted to give the impression that they have settled their islamist problem.
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despite their hard-line policy of the eradication, at the state failed to stamp out residual militancy within its own territory. in reality, algeria has succeeded in nationalizing its war with its disgruntled islamists. the transformation of jury -- algerian violent islamist groups into a regional franchise began over a decade ago when algerian forces chased islamist combatants out of algeria and in tamale. by 2003, the islamists had spread into mali. these extremists, they gradually embedded themselves into malian society, patiently
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building a structure of family ties, a social support, political relations and economic exchange. the established close links with arab communities. by the 2000's, they had successfully built a terrorist criminal. by june 2012, in collaboration with the armed islamist forces, a splinter offshoot, they had complete control of mali's in
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north. algeria and watch these developments with great concern, but it is a reaction was tepid. the resources it has applied have not matched the capabilities. in mali, algeria had hoped to stay on the sidelines. it focused on securing its own borders and containing the terrorists threats within the confines of mali, niger. until the seven french intervention in mali, algeria was it -- the seven french intervention with mali, algeria -- it has been a perennial mediator of conflicts between mali's government and the tuareg.
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algeria was a specially focused. does not see the partition of mali. it wants the implementation of sharia law as they see it and interpret it about the country. the group's leader withdrew from the negotiation process on january 7, 2013. that was a stop to algeria's efforts to secure a diplomatic solution to the conflict. there have been encouraging signs that algeria is progressively becoming more practical and pragmatic. in its approach, the conflict in mali. it closed its southern border with mali when the french intervention began. since the 2011 s libya conflict,
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the country has become slightly more responsive to problems on the periphery. it is -- it has beefed up its troop presence on the eastern and southern flags. border crossings were also tightened. january 2013, the prime minister's out of algeria, libya, and tunisia, the mets in the western libya border town. they agreed to form a joint treat -- to spend the flow of drugs, arms, and fuel. the introduction of fuel is critical.
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it is crucial because it allows -- for years now, senior european and american officials complained that algeria was not doing enough to monitor its southern border. it was not enough to control the resources, especially fuel, charcoal, that help these various armed groups. controlling the southern border with mali is necessary to weekend out qaeda at -- in the current conflict, if they're cut off from the immensities the gas from algeria, they will difficulty prolong the fight. that is why it was not surprising to see french counterterrorism officials who complained and suspected that
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algeria played a double game in mali. they started applauding the decision to close its borders. president francois hollande, in his defense was algeria's debt of the hospital rates. the mission cannot succeed without the assistance of algeria. that is why you saw the french reaction different from the british initially and the americans as well. the french fear they have economic interests, that is why they intervene. they fear that controlled -- it will threaten its economic interest. it will destabilize their allies in north america. that is the major concern in european capitals. it is about north africa, the
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fear that the conflict would spill over. this concern over the transborder militancy is exacerbated by the difficult democratic transitions in north africa. in north africa, the risks of contagion and spillover are real. tunisia is vastly becoming a smuggling corridor for arms dealers between libya. their huge concerns with the other government, at tunisia is becoming a corridor for arms dealers. seizures of large arms caches are becoming frequent.
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tunisia, the problem is that it could become more than just a transitory it. tunisia and they're very concerned about french presidents in mali. -- french presence in mali. they are concerned that tunisia might -- the war in mali might become a recruitment for disgruntled tunisia and islamists. there is concern about backlash. so far, cross border links between militants have been tenuous so far. they use more greed and criminality than ideology.
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jihadi gangsters, rebels might join forces. destabilize countries that are transitioning and have very weak security institutions. authorities today, they're struggling to reform their dysfunctional security services. they're struggling to develop the capacity as the police. even countries with strong security forces, there is danger there. morocco has been on high alert since the french intervention. we know several moroccans have joined. about 78 armed groups in mali. the country is worried about stability in the western sahara. that is where in north africa. the problem of the spillover
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into west africa where countries are fragile. the roots of instability are complex carriage we can talk more about those later on. mauritania is salad considers -- is generally considered the least problematic state. the gump -- the numbers of youth recruited remains very small. the attacks carried out on that soil lacks sophistication.
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the government's aggressive pursuits and imprisonment of violent extremists, but mauritania, faced with the challenge of ensuring control over their borders. mauritania shares a long border with mali. it is even more than algeria, which it shares 1300 plotters border with mali. the man as the plays a key role in countering -- leadership plays a key role in countering. mauritania has adopted an
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aggressive approach to fighting extremists. it has equipped its airports with i.t. systems. it has installed passport readers. it has built 27 posts to control the border. hundreds of border police officers. in addition to the military component, they also have introduced new anti-terrorism legislation. the government has tried to delegitimize the ideological justification for violent radicalism. they have engaged extremist
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prisoners in a dialogue with critical islamist scholars. >> thank you very much. i think we have set a good context. the take away is we face -- given this complexity, looking more forward and backwards, -- than backwards, what extent the u.s. should be engaged or involved in this, and the timing
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of the french operation and all of those issues. looking more forward, where do we go from here? what are some policy recommendations, prescriptions, guideposts for a pathway for? >> i am no longer working in policy, so obviously, i cannot make any policy decisions. but having said that, some thoughts to consider. i do believe that this will move into an insurgency war. it is up to the islamists to decide how they want to play this. one thing that happened with the french intervention that required some initial planning, but was not factored in.
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the pouring off of refugees into neighboring countries. what i am hearing from a lot of the refugee camps is a whole bunch of -- they have blended into the populations and the refugee camps. this is going to create some issues. the other problem is, these demographics, the relationships they have regionally -- the town's for taken over very quickly. if you look back from june all the way to present, islamists were busily digging holes and trenching outside. i kept hearing over and over again from friends i haven't
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timbuktu, the islamists are 60 kilometers north of timbuktu. they are digging a hole and they're doing this. they were preparing for something. the discussions of intervention has been ongoing. but we need to do is step in and -- what we need to do is help the french think about how to deal with an insurgency. we cannot leave this intervention to its own devices because anybody who was ever dealt with counterinsurgency, it is not easy. it is very complex. now you stick them into an intervention force, and god
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forbid but you have is your first suicide bomber. intervention, heavy-handed response. you were going to polarize them anymore. that is going to play in a bid late in the hands of the islamists will doriden -- to have already done all the preparations. that is something we have to address in the long term. how do we take this problem said to untangle it. he plays a very large footprint.
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the social tensions start to flare up. all of a sudden, with the western presence in the region, it is going to become a polarizing place for the islamists and the other parts of the world to intervene. i know some of you have followed -- you are seeing messages coming in from radical elements from syria, yemen. interestingly enough, i found the tweet -- a came from an unusual individual. all the support they need from their brethren around the world to progress. this is already filtered like a cancer everywhere. it is the center of attention in
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different parts of the world. this is where the caution comes again. >> i think the first thing we need to do is just be aware. we need to be aware that there is a new ark of instability that starts with the young. extend down into mali, not necessarily has affected niger yet. and then can? to northern nigeria. the second thing is not to panic. after not panicking, the question becomes, what you do.
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the thing that you do is do not send them a reason do not send the army. to not to do some ground. when you do that, it does not worked out very well. we do some things really well. reconnaissance, internet reconnaissance, a provision of aid to people who have played roles in the region. in terms of rebuilding the army. there are specific tasks that we need to seriously engage the country. right now. we have to hope that government.
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there is not a national debate on the question, but it is an important one. in tunisia, we need to engage that question. we have a failed state in mali. it is not the subject of a grant policy debate in this country because it seems too far away. do not pay attention to the problem long enough and let's see what happens. it will be much less costly to .nvest in a modest way
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i will not address niger, it has ongoing system the questions. we have to think about nigeria and northern nigeria. to drive from -- to drive -- it is only four days of traveling. it is very important for us as analysts to stop thinking from national perspectives and to start thinking from regional perspectives. it is the only way that we will comprehend the dynamics of the challenges in front of us. and we're not doing it. glad they're trying to think about this in a regional
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perspective. until we do that now, when it is less costly, it will cost us more later. no boats on the ground. -- boots on the ground. >> in the environment of political instability, the focus of the international -- in mali, the risks. i hear a lot of talk about tuareg. this is not just a tuareg problem. you cannot just rely on be tuareg or mnla. in mali, the tuareg are only one
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component among many. other ethnic groups, exactly what al qaeda @ and others are waiting for. they are waiting to strike at an opportunity. they are just biding their time. there are risks and there. the behavior of the forces, especially with light skin ned tuareg and arabs. we know that african forces,
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these are some of the most seasoned warriors. the french are relying very heavily on them, which is good. it is the same climate as in northern mali. their behavior on the ground does not elicit much optimism. it is a huge risk that it might happen. god forbid, just one suicide attack. their heavy handed in their approach. look at nigeria, their behavior does not elicit must optimism. it is the heavy-handed approach of nigerian forces that have fueled the insurgency in northern nigeria. there is little talk about it,
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but that is to blame. the french cannot wash their hands of it. they have to make sure that to that does not happen. for the african forces we're talking about, it will take 18 months to train. right? the u.s. is sending about 200 trainers mid-february -- un is sending about 200 trainers mid- february. what can the u.s. do? we have to many institutions, too many structures. from what i hear, from folks on the ground, they say they do not work together. >> there is something i forgot
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to mention, which your comment just provoked me to remember. i forgot to mention the important role of algeria. nothing is going to happen without algeria. paul kennedy at the university about 15 years ago wrote this important article. he argued that in every region of the world, there is a pivotal state. unless you work with it, the ancillary states will not function properly. his argument was that unless -- in west africa, nigeria is the pivotal state. in south africa, it is south africa. in northern africa, is algeria. algeria has the most capable
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army, the most capable intelligence services. as part of this policy discussion, we keep mentioning the united states, the european union. we really need to mention nigeria. we need to have their participation as we move forward. >> the algerians when not put boots on the ground. -- would not put boots on the ground. the americans are not even trying. what they have been asking them to do -- these guys are sitting on $200 billion. there is an expectation that algeria would contribute the most to their fund that extended
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to rebuild or to build the economy. >> i think ricardo makes a good point. we also have to be looking at its with very clear lenses. there can be no solution without them. on the other hand, person that engagement does not blind us to the fact that they have tried to have it both ways for a very long time. analogies are imperfect, but if we end up in a counter insurgency scenario, we have a pakistan to afghanistan. it has elements that are part of
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the problem and how we resolve that is going to be critical. >> there is one more element to the southern part of algeria that needs to be -- that we need to keep in mind. the algerians have allowed tuareg to give it an algerian passport. all they had to do was ask for it. there is a free flow of trains. the economies are tied together. what you also have is the possibility that there are members of their complicity in an arc of trade. as you're trying to put pressure to control this, you are
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affecting something that has been around for a very long time that is going to affect some of the players. he has made a lot of money, but he has also built relationships. this is where it starts getting complex. he is flush with money, a great connections, understands the tribal dynamics in the region and can pay people to do stuff. these are the types of complexities which makes it difficult to handle -- it is hard to control all of these borders, too. we have a border problem with mexico. can you a magic in the sahara where there is not much -- it
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will be a difficult thing to do. >> let me raise another issue. i would like the panelists to address it. it does not excuse extra constitutional measures. the coup in mali did not occur in a vacuum. all of our wishful thinking and platitudes not withstanding, soldiers not being paid, better off working for the radicals. there was a question of involvement -- it is well known senior officials who were involved as business partners
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with the people labeled as extremists or islamists because they were working together and everybody was happy together in the drug trade. if we fall into a situation of insurgency, there is a real danger, the key is political legitimacy. you cannot win and counterinsurgency without political legitimacy. how do we get back to what has been forgotten? how do we get the political trap back on? >> -- political track back on? >> there -- you have a series of
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lower-level military leaders who have decided to seize power and they're no longer interested in relinquishing it. but they do not have the power -- how can you move forward? the fundamental question would be the subordination of military officers to civilian officials. he did not have a civilian to supervise. to me, before we get to that question of elections and whether civilian leaders who can rise to form a government, we somehow need to inform those who have engaged in a coup d'etat
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but they have to get out of business. you have to make a pure mind one way or the other. you get at of business or you for me state. if you have not got not of business, they cannot form a state. it is not like 1952 when egypt. seized the state -- he cease the state and formed a government. it is a practical complication for us. i do not know how -- >> do you have any insight? >> may be spotlight a little bit of the complexities. when i was -- in 2003, i was talking to a general. he said something very interesting as the relates to
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this. he said, there was an artery that went from the port -- it was like a spinal column that went all the way in the middle of the country. what happened this when the coup divided the country, all of a sudden, this economic push: number -- pushing north was under strain. it took several years for this final column to shift over into gone down -- ghana. this is where you start seeing narco trafficking expand. you start seeing this illicit trade expanding in the region. you have these landlocked
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countries that are starving for finances and his local governments are looking for ways to continue to make money. correctly, what we have is an integration of certain members within those states that were involved in illicit trade. when you looked from 2006-2007, during that rebellion, you of the individuals from the military -- those are names that were common names that were working with the arab militias and the narco traffic as they were moving north. these are the same guys involved in negotiations for the hostage releases and some of that money was filtering back down. there is a complexity in north- south relationships on a
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financial, organized crime level. today, we see some of that and it continues to fester. if, going forward, we just need where the government' is in a position to negotiate with the north and find an equitable solution in the long run. we need to make sure that we tie in the grievances and neck in are meant little bit better so we do not another bubble. >> to elaborate, there is a fundamental immediate problem if you have military officers who are insistent that they are in charge when they are not. >> absolutely agree. >> you couple that with the suggestion that you have government officials or military officials who are also engaged
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in contraband, whether it is cigarettes or others, so that coming up with a plan of action to fix the problem then becomes compounded because you did not know who you can identify to move this date forward. nonetheless, the state has to be recreated, so that it is then empowered to negotiate. it is a confounding challenge. >> if i may, i will go way out on a limb. food for thought -- i do not have a smoking gun, i just have bits and pieces -- when the islamists moved south, it was rapid. it literally -- literally surprised a lot of people. there were two pieces to this that we need to think about -- i think, and i am going out on a
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limb, there was some agreement between north and south, because as islamists were controlling the northcom i got feedback from people in timbuktu, that there were flight's going up to timbuktu. people from the islamist council were having discussions. then there was some collaboration. all of a sudden, what you have is islamists overnight moving through and being down towards -- going down towards mokti. there's a possibility that islamists in the north do not care about secular -- sharia is not a big deal. it is mali, we are good muslims. we do not like the secular guys.
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we pushed aside and continue to trade north and south, sharia is around, business continues, no big deal. the french intervene. that wrecks this plan. for all the talking in the north, the south was in deep discussions with the north, primarily. this may play out as we go further in trying to put this government together. >> you're absolutely right. the algerians are frustrated because the guys they were relying on to negotiate the deal -- a couple of theories, once as they did not secure or guarantee the full on support for the day after. there is a political deal. i do not think there is proof
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that there were planning to go all the way. this is just conjecture. to go back to the points that you raised, peter, especially the first one first one, -- first one, we have for agile states. there are states that are unwilling, unwilling to address political grievances and willing to take on organized crime, and incapable, they do not have the military capability. that is mali for us. nevertheless, the united states and others dispense foreign aid. we knew its leadership was unwilling to act. then you have countries that are on willing and capable. these of the countries that need assistance. it is a matter of political will.
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the military can be empowered. if you do not have the political will to take on organized crime, then we have on willing and capable, and willing and capable -- unwilling and capable. for the legitimacy issue that is crucial, because there has to be a political solution, the problem is the political elite in mali are discredited. what we saw in the election is that most of them are the same guys, they are known quantities, and they do not have much respect. nevertheless, there has to be a time line for elections. the interim president talks about july. the obama administration agreed on a time when with them, but they have not picked july as a date. for the military, there is a
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window of opportunity. the coup has lost support. you have the french in bomb co -- bamako. they have extreme pressure to put the military out of business. there is a window of opportunity where you can empower civilian institutions at the expense of the military. unless there is a political solution, we're not going anywhere. >> i really want to day- emphasize elections. -- de-emphazsize elections. we in america are obsessed with elections. unless you have a "heart of political leadership, what is the point of having an election? you need a jefferson and madison and a washington -- you need a cohort of leadership. what is the point of having an
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election? so some fool debt collection -- will get elected, nominally in charge, he is not leading a coalition, there is no sense political coherence among the elite about what the state is going to be? look at egypt. what is the point of having an election if you do not have an elite coherence about what the future of the state is going to be? if you have an election, you'll make things work. -- worse. the question is, when do you have an election? you have one after you have a certain degree of elite coherence about what the future articulation of this -- of the state is going to be. i think it would be disastrous to have an election in mali before you have a cohort of civilian leaders who are united in articulating that there is going to be a mali state.
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i would not consulate. it does not make sense to throw somebody up there -- who are they leading? it is like an army without troops. it is not there yet. you have to think logically about these things. let's stop the elections. stop talking about elections. elections are only valuable at a certain moment in time, after you have a cohort of leaders who agreed that there will be a state. you do not have that yet in mali. that is my point of view, anyway. >> final questions -- i thank you for going out on a limb. the lack of elite coherence, elections, i voted for the last time in d.c. -- we should
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suspend elections for a while here. the other elephant in the room, to open things up, without having a brief comments from the panel -- it was reported in the media this week on the agreement between the u.s. and niger to establish a base for unmanned aerial vehicles in inger for isr purposes. any comments, reactions? >> you always feel the same argument. we set up isr, and then we shift to drone strikes. we accidently get the wrong group of folks, then again, you highlight the folks, and whether it will be displaced or
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that, it becomes a lightning rod for other folks to come into the area. having said that, you need an area to look at because we're talking about geographic space the size of the united states. it is a very large, massive area to cover. i do not know if there is a right or wrong to this, but there are certain things that need to be factored in. very quickly too soon and we do not think about this, anybody who has been over there, you get one american over there, and everybody knows about it. it is not a big place. when you start talking about putting 200-300 on the ground, that will garner attention. >> i have nothing to add. >> let's go to questions -- a reminder to the audience. those with questions, please give everybody a chance, and
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please identify yourself and wait for the microphone. we will start in the front row. please. >> i am rica -- ricardo -- >> could you identify yourself? >> i work for the challenge corporation. i am speaking on my own behalf. ricardo make a connection between the good of the regime and what is unfolding in mali -- the qaddafi regime and the chaos in mali. does all this have to be addressed to get the situation in mali enhanced? and if i could ask a similar question, people pointed to the
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fact that you look at the sub- region, niger appears in better shape than other places, despite the fact is a bad neighborhood. is there any way we could evolves a policy that would immunize niger from getting infected with the same kind of disease that moves through northern nigeria or northern mali? >> thank you. >> thank you very much, i am an independent analyst in washington. the mali problem is the most
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complex i have come across in over 40 years. it is hard to deal with all of it now. there are things i think that are right on money. there are others with which i disagree. one that has been left -- the u.s. role, it has been talked about. why should the u.s. care? why should americans care? that is the issue that is not being addressed. i will say that there are all kinds of reasons why the u.s. should care, from the involvement with the army and others in segou, and as has been said, if does not dealt with, it will come back and bite the u.s. i would like the panel to make the case to the u.s. about why it should be involved. i do not think that has been made enough. >> forgive me if there are
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others, but there is one malian in the room. we owe it to him. wait for the microphone please. >> i would like to thank this incredible panel. i am thrilled to be hearing these things. i am an elected mayor in mali. i am a u.s.-educated, but i returned back home. the question i would like to ask would be directed to ricardo -- is based on peter's introduction. mali was a failed state. the issue in mali was a leadership issue, not an ethics or religious issue, but primarily a religious issue. i thank you for truly addressing
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that. you talked about leadership in mali. why should we organize elections? because democracy is a value that should be enforced, promoted, and supported everywhere, even in mali. there is an emerging class of leaders, but they are on heard -- unheard, they are suppressed by bad leadership. elections should be organized so that malians -- the question is, what should we do next before the elections? we shoudl hold a national sovereign conference, as we did in 1991, to bring malians together and craft and
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integration plan for mali, as it has been done before. it is time that we address this in a global point of view, instead of just pointing out arabs or -- there is a region where they are over 26%. my question to you -- what do we do today in light of what i said in building a national conference, a sovereign national conference, to identify the way to go forward to the next election? how'd we do that -- do we do that to build a cohort of leaders that you talk about?
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>> why don't we take that round, and then to another round. questions on libya, we share -- niger. >> if i could address all the issues comprehensively, starting with the mayor from mali, because i am entirely in support of what your objectives are -- in fact, i am in favor of elections. the question is when. the challenge we are confronting is really the observations brought up. if indeed what we have is a convergence of interests between people in the north and people in the southern military establishment that are engaged in contraband, whether it is narcotics or cigarettes or fuel,
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then what we have is a very important economic linkage that will stand in the way of creating civilian government. this is where the political economy of the reconstruction of the state becomes the next challenge. if there is an incentive for southern military officers and northern rebels to remain linked because of that contraband issue, we will have to overcome that in order for civilian leaders like yourself to come to the fore and reconstitute the malian state. if that is the case, our challenge is considerably more complex than i thought it would be at the beginning of this two- hour conversation. this conversation has had a value because we read- articulated a particular challenge -- re-articulated a
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particular challenge. going to your question about niger, niger has the advantage until the present moment, because there is not the degree of animosity in niger between the ethnic groups. furthermore, the new president of mali specifically designated -- of nger -- niger specifically designated somebody for minister thatfense awho was from community. there is a different set of politics operating and a different history with regard to the degree of animosity between those in power and those residing elsewhere in the country who may belong to the drag community -- the toreg
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community. because of the different political economy that underlies the malian state, it is different. getting back to watch -- to what you asked, what do we need to do? i have been saying as for two years. we first have to recognize that this is a regional question that has to be addressed regionally. is a question that is not engage the deployment of u.s. troops because of the blood back that is involved with the insurgency. it does -- the blow back that is involved with the insurgency. it does involve intelligent engagement, which is the provision of our formidable intelligence gathering services, the provision of wise investments to the reconstitution of the malian,
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nigerian, libyan civil societies, and putting militias or central officers into a central army. those are the objectives we need to engage, only if we agree that there is an emerging crisis that is taking place in the sahara. >> i would point out there was a swareg insurgency in niger. it was from -- led by leader who brokered the deal that led to the end of the insurgency. my question remains, what can we do to help immunize niger? the danger, in my humble opinion, is that the insanity
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that is bringing in the region, the last thing we want to see is for it to come across the border and affect nigerian politics. >> go ahead. >> for immunization, as it relates to what is happening in mali, what happens to twaregs in northern mali will have repercussions elsewhere. that is extremely crucial. it is true niger has done a better job of addressing. up to now, the tuaregs do not feel they are benefiting from the resources. that has not been addressed. even there, there is discontent that must be addressed. you cannot rely on appointing
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a prime minister, because that is not enough. niger has benefited from external aid. we know the united states and europe, there is a zone of protection, niger and mauritania. more of that needs to be done. we go back to what i said, and willing, but capable. the nigerians have been willing but on capable -- incapable. that is why americans in europe have focused on mauritania and niger. >> i would add there is the
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chief complaint from the iranians that dust is getting into the waterways. having grievances there -- your spot on in terms of why we care in the region -- that is a great question. i spent a lot of time on the counter-terrorism site, thinking, it will we allow this cancer to fester, it will metastasize and candidly to metastasize. we are seeing growth in the energy sector, gas, oil, you're always finding new fields. donna is a great example -- ghana is a great example. there are other places in west africa. there is potential for oil and gas up in certain quadrants between the borders of mali and mauritania and niger. of western companies out looking
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for this, exxon mall -- exxon mobile, diamond offshore, statoil. if you start seeing attacks like the one in algeria, that will cause some impact economically. you'll see that. the other thing is -- i know i use france as an example -- from a threat base, you have ten% -- 10% of the french population as northern african. you have individuals in these groups that are sympathetic to the islamist cause in the region. you keep this unchecked, it will have a migration. there is a potential for attacks in europe. whether they are carrying a french passport or whatever passport -- have to look at this in a holistic way.
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also, if we continue to allow this black market to faster, that is going to continue. a good chunk of cocaine going into europe is coming through the plains. it is growing and growing. there are multiple factors, we can go on and on, but we have to look at this holisticaly. the other thing is, i use the lunar theory -- the baloon theory -- we have done a great job going after the core al qaeda leadership in the af-pak region. there is a new generation. this is not central command. when you squeeze the balloon, it will come out in the form of least resistance. there was an interesting that that cannot last year, it was all of north africa and west
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africa, and mali was in all black. they want mali to be a beach head to expand in the region. that will have all kinds of consequences that we need to pay attention to. putting it in the bigger picture, it is important, and we cannot let it go. >> can you respond on the question, it comes up very frequently, on u.s. training in sam -- bamoko? >> what you have as the jury is
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negotiating -- this was around 2003 -- algerians negotiate 72 of the 300 hostages were released. then we go into negotiations. the hostages were released for a sum of 5 million a year rose. -- 5 million euros. then we had to chase them across the desert. we did very little working with chad, mali, giving them a little bit of intelligence and communications. there were able to capture him. what we have -- but things were happening circa 2004-2005, there was discussion on counter- terrorism programs, the east
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africa counter-terrorism initiatives was expanding in the horn of africa. folks were going, the initiative went very well and we're doing awesome programs, why cannot we do something more robust? that is the genesis that got us into this. the operation and during freedom and the trans sarah counter-terrorism program -- operation saharan freddom and trans-sahara counter-terrorism program. it is about 10-11 countries. the program was to get these countries to try to tackle the threat that was potentially going to grow or was growing in the region. we did allow training. a mali was a recipient of this training, however, we had to
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start off with the basics and build off from there. it was an integration of trying to get mali to work regionally. we were looking ahead and we were taking a forward step in this. there is no military in the world, no matter what training, you cannot stop people from doing whatever they want to do in their sovereign country. it is not a mistake that the united states made. we were moving in a positive direction from a d.o.t. standpoint -- dod standpoint. there should be no pointing the finger at the u.s. military. we did not do anything wrong. we were doing something very positive in the region. we just need to continue to from here. the current crisis highlights that we need to expand that to a certain level to get to a place where at least the host countries can handle things
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properly, because when you look for a successful move in the long term, you want to be able to walk away from a country and allow it to handle its own issues and the threats that may potentially come back into it. >> there were a lot of good reasons for the coup, from a soldier's perspective. i am not a military analyst. i'm a political scientist. as vital to anecdotally in my e- mails with somebody who fought, a machine gun was not well stabilized on a pickup truck. he had to retreat. not being a military analyst. while applauding what the u.s. was trying to do it by training folks in mali and elsewhere, when you just do a cursory examination of the equipment available to them -- i just took
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a look online of what they have in terms of aircraft. no helicopters. 2-3 fighter jets. all about 30 years old. maybe 6 or 7 airlift capabilities with 6-wing aircraft. perspective,ege there was reason for a coup. i'm not adequately being provided for. although we engage in the trans-
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saharan counter-terrorism program, we try to teach them how to shoot, we try to teach them how to engage in reconnaissance, we try to teach them how to engage in movement, when you look at whether they were provisioned to function as an army, which is a fundamental question, they were not. that provokes some serious analysis of whether the money that we invested in the counter- terrorism program was well invested when we have not addressed the fundamental question of the provisioning of the army. >> if i may, i would say probably, if i had to pin it down to one. of failure where i think or -- one point of failure where i think we could have done better, when we spoke to the army, the
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question was, do you want to stop al qaeda? the answer was yes. the most important question was, what is your definition of al qaeda? what is your definition of the threat? we would have discovered very quickly that up north, it is those guys that are ethnically -- they are creating these rebellions. this is where we should have dug a little bit deeper in and said, time out, those are your own people within your own borders. in 2006 going forward, mali and millet -- the mali military has never engaged with the guys coming across the border. they allowed that to fester in the north. it begs the question, why did we miss that? lessons learned moving forward. >> i have to apologize, we are
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running down to the wire here. i think we have time for one more question. right here, you. >> thank you. i am with the woodrow wilson center. i would like to push you a little more because it seems to me that listening to you about what we should do -- i am not saying you are wrong, i'm not advocating for putting puts -- boots on the ground, or a heavy footprint, but what i hear is that we have to continue to do what we have and try to do with the trans-saharan initiative and all the previous initiatives i can never keep straight in my mind and so on and so forth --
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we have always talked about this region like this. we have never looked at separate problems in separate countries. what we see from the outcome -- -- thet pointing fingers results have not been particularly good. the country is still bleeding, though we might have put a tourniquet on. why should we expect that more of the same will make a difference? how do we need to change what we have been doing, more to the point, so that this time it is more effective? i'm not sure that i heard any difference in what you are suggesting. >> i have only a couple of seconds -- an excellent question. it is not just advocating -- we need to look at the program and see where it failed and where it actually did very well and try to address those points of
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failures and try to fix it. we cannot divorce it and walk away and say, wow, it completely failed, so we will not do anything. we have to look at it holisticaly and try to make it better. we can talk offline about what those things can be. >> thank you very much, rudy. thank you for joining us. please join me in thanking our panel. [applause] >> french troops launched air strikes on an islamist sites in the country's north. french troops bombarded arms and fuel depots saturday night and into sunday morning. the towns are located near the algerian border. >> next, a look at some of the
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foreign policy challenges facing the obama administration. after that, a discussion around the face -- the fate of women's rights around the world. then the senate hearing on the shortage of primary-care physicians. >> if you have a hot shot that just got his ph.d. in computer science from stanford, she is getting offers from all over the world. to say that you can stay in limbo for six years, it is not very competitive. >> congress can do a lot. you do not have to be efficient and more iphone are blackberry to understand the applications of technology and what makes it work. >> it is difficult to make investment decisions and expect any return when you have no way to predict the future. our difficulty right now is there is no consistency or certainty in our policy decisions. >> the government's role in technology and policy from this
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year's cesçx show. monday night on the communicators at 8:00 p.m. on c- span2. >> now a discussion on some foreign policy challenges for the obama administration in the second term. from "washington journal," this is 45 minutes. served as a middle east adviser to president carter and ambassador to morocco. thank you for being with us. news of the weekend and comments made by the vice- president who continues his travels through europe including a conference taking place in munich, germany. he says the u.s. is ready for direct talks with iran if they are ready for negotiations. guest: this is then try to open a back door and front door negotiations. part of the challenges, we have
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made these and treaties. the question is whether the i italia is going to avail himself of them. i am in favor of doing everything possible to see what is necessary and to explore the feasibility of avoiding a conflict with iran if iran is ready to reach an accommodation that stops its nuclear weapons program. if it does so in a way that is verifiable. after all, i think the last thing the united states wants to do is to go into another conflict with the wrong. i think they want to test the willingness. so far despite the best intentions ever since he became president, they have rebuffed these efforts. host: there is a limited time. because elections are scheduled for june. what could happen between now and then if anything at all? guest: it is hard to say because just the other day they
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said they will accelerate the nuclear enrichment program. i know the vice president and the new secretary of state, they would all like to see if they could reach a grand bargain, but so far the evidence on the ground is if not a nuclear weapons threshold, nuclear weapons capability threshold. host: there is this headline based on comments by the vice- president. he tries to deal with damage control following hagel's policy flub. -- chuck hagel -- how did he perform, and it did the vice president need to amend any fences?
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guest: there is no doubt -- i really respect and admire senator hagel. we have worked together. i think you saw as many viewers saw, this was the type of grilling that they would not want to go through. if i had been in the hot seat, i would suspect i would be switching as well. while i know senator hagel has done a lot or the past few weeks to alleviate some concerns with many of the senators, i say the confrontation that he had with senators mccain and graham was painful to watch and i feel uncalled for. i think it was unacceptable to put senator hagel in the
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position given the fact we are arguing over whether the surge work or did not work at iraq. it almost seems like we are arguing issues that no longer relates to what the circumstances are on the ground today. host: which leads to the headline from "the washington post." yes, we have damaged al qaeda in original stronghold, but it continues to percolate as we see the situation and north africa and the middle east. carving out enclaves that have given previously the gasping organization some new breathing room. guest: there is no doubt the offshoots of al qaeda are on the march once again. they are the cockroaches that
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do not seem to go away no matter how much to try to swat them. they're still active in yemen. of course, there are still on the border in afghanistan as well. the problem is, in some respects with osama bin laden gone, we still have the number 2 who is working in the shadows. while we have prematurely boasted at times to have cut off a command and control structure, until we are able to understand the connectivity between him and whateve central organization, you have to ask, what is the underpinning of these new jihadists.
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i refer to them as the jihdai sand pirates. they're not just driven by some islamic ideology, they are also sand pirates. they attacked -- have been known in extortion and criminal kidnapping four years and years. they have also been able to establish a foothold in the libya as well. it is very disconcerting to see what has taken place. we should not be surprised. host: back and forth on a number of different fronts, but let me go back to the issue of syria. this is a story from "the new york times." a lot of attention on the president's foreign-policy with regard to asia.
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in europe, a concern we are moving away from a close alliance with the european alliance and more towards asia. your thoughts. guest: the administration has tried to create a branding of new foreign policy, which is the so-called pivot to asia. as if some way or another -- the implication is we are by to turn our backs on europe and the middle east and focus on asia and renew alliances because of the growing threats from north korea and the challenges that china has placed on our allies in asia through the confrontations over these gas bespeckled islands in the south china sea. i daresay as interesting as it may sound, and my present -- secretary clinton who made her first trip to asia, i have heard rumors to the effect
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incoming secretary of state kerry will make its first trip to the middle east. we are going to pivot to asia. going back to the middle east seems to repivot. host: john kerry's first task as secretary of state is to develop a coherent policy for syria where u.s. sanctions are proving counterproductive. the fighting around damascus is deadlocked in the country is heading toward sectarian breakup. the grim prognosis for syria is provided by the latest report provided by the state department working with the free syrian army. guest: i admire him and i know he has been writing quite a bit about him lately. he is symptomatic of the disease that has set into washington, which is a new-found interest in syria.
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when the revolution began, to find voices of concern over syria was a virtually impossible treasure hunt. we were expressing deep concern than that unless we involve ourselves, when i say involved, i will be careful -- once we did what we could politically to get the disparate opposition groups more organized, the situation would devolve out of control. we are in a situation or our options are in the -- are limited. all of the hand-wringing and chest pounding that the administration and people in the academic community engaged in at this point in time we live the fact that we are at a point where there are -- belie fact that the pandora's box opened up in syria is a catastrophe that will affect the region in
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ways we cannot imagine. host: marc ginsberg is joining us from new york. he was the u.s. ambassador to morocco and former senior adviser to president jimmy carter. the other headline we are following is from reuters. the vice president delivering remarks saying there is a possibility of direct talks with iran. republican senator john mccain telling reuters he would have no objection to direct talks, but questioned how much these with cheese -- would achieve its fundamental questions about the iranian nuclear program are unresolved. [video clip] >> our policy is not containment. it is to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. we have also made clear that the iranian leaders need not
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sentence their people to economic isolation. there is still time and space for diplomacy, backed by pressure, to succeed. the ball is in the government of iran's courts. host: if we were able to begin negotiations with iran and its intentions for to ease between the u.s. in iran, which became a huge problem to present jimmy carter in 1979 with the hostage situation, if we make progress, how would that use the entire neighborhood and countries around iran and afghanistan? guest: it depends on how the israelis interpret this. the israelis believe they have more to fear about iran's nuclear capabilities and the rest of the name of the. i have read -- than the rest of the neighborhood. i have read the papers. job one for netanyahu will be refocusing on iran.
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how do determine what red wine there is in iran's nuclear capabilities? all the talk about reaching out to iran may be academic if israel feels the u.s. is not in lockstep with them in determining what the threshold is. if an agreement is reached -- the last thing i want to see is a conflict with iran if it can be avoided. it would help alleviate the deepest concerns that iran has about american intentions. let's be clear. iran is a statesponsor of terror that continues to support beshear alice i would
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use weapons and revolutionary guards the-president assad in syria -- president assad in syria and they are the sibylline -- destabilizing our allies. we have to be mindful that the iranians may use that to create mischief in the region while they think they have the united states at bay. host: he served in the middle east policy institute. there is this from joseph ramirez. what do the iranian people think of americans? guest: it is iran the that ironic that the vast majority of iranian people -- it is ironic that the vast majority of the iranian people are pro-american. they are probably the most pro- west people in the region in terms of wanting to accommodate
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a bilateral relationship with the united states. all you have to do is go back to the previous election, which the a -- the ayatollah's forces crushed with ruthless tenacity. the iranian people want to be free of the military dictatorship that is ruling them right now. host: we welcome our listeners on c-span radio. our guest is ambassador marc ginsberg. jack is joining us from florida. caller: good morning to you and good morning to you, ambassador ginsberg. i think you are a great american. what i see with the iranian and israeli conflict is the iranians do not want israel to be on the planet. we have a president and a vice president who have said many times and have walked away from
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the israelis when they have visited here in the united states. the president we have in the white house right now is anti- jewish. you see it and we see it. to have somebody like that representing the united states and is supposedly a friend of israel to side with all of these radicals -- host: thank you and we will stop it there. marc ginsberg, your response? guest: let me try to parse the best out. there is a dysfunctionality between the two leaders of the united states and israel. benjamin netanyahu and brought in, -- and barack obama do not get along with each other. that has caused disconcerted unhappiness on both sides of the atlantic.
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the israelis are deeply disappointed. that is the reason for the election outcome you see in israel. the prime minister will probably remain prime minister. there are a lot of israelis who do not want to see this bilateral relationship undermine further. i have told many jewish audiences around the country that despite the personal relationships of these two individuals, the president has been consistent in maintaining the military and intelligence support for israel throughout these difficulties. i have consistently commanded the obama administration for not letting politics get in the way of what is the essential rubric of the u.s.-israeli ire of our relationship, which is the military strategic support that be -- bilateral relationship, which is the military support that is provided. my friends in the
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administration have done everything they could to ensure politics do not get into the way of that relationship. host: this is from one of our other viewers following up on your earlier point about how the iranian people see americans. my father was from iran and we always wanted better relations with the u.s. the's me bring it back to elections that will take place in june -- let me bring in that to the elections that will take place in june. what will take place? guest: i'm afraid very little. mahmoud ahmadinejad has a total breach with the people around him over domestic and foreign policy. there is no doubt that the economics sanctions have undermined the iranian economy. that has caused great hardship among the iranian heart -- iranian people.
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the sanctions are meant to change behavior, not punish the iranian people. so far, the iranians have not evidence that these sanctions have changed. the revolutionary guard and the ayatollah will continue to be the sole auditors -- arbiters the iranian foreign policy. in iran, the ayatollah has the final word on national security regardless of who is elected president. host: focusing on out coming -- outgoing secretary of state hillary clinton. john kerry will officially stepped in tomorrow. the story is pointing out that she leaves the state department with the simplest of yardsticks to measure her. traveling nearly 1 million miles. 401 days on the road.
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she expanded the state department agenda to gender violence and the use of social media in diplomacy. from your standpoint, what is her legacy as the secretary of state? guest: "the new york times articles on to it up well. she clearly reestablished american diplomacy around the world. she was tireless as a person who traveled around the world, as everyone knows. the mileage that was significant if not overly intense for her. she uplifted young people around the world, pursued a policy of what we call soft diplomacy. she tried hard. i know she did, to try to convince the white house that on the hard issues of libya, syria, afghanistan, the middle east, and elsewhere, they should be more readily prepared to engage. the national security council reflecting the president's intentions were perhaps not as ready to follow her lead.
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that is what is reflected in this article. there were good reasons why the white house staff and the national security staff and the president felt they should involve themselves in syria. the american people were not ready to put the boots on the ground and they are not prepared still to put the boots on the ground. the story has not yet been written over exactly how the relationship between the secretary and her staff and the white house and the staff interactive on all of these policy issues. i am looking forward to the book. host: does she have a lasting legacy? guest: absolutely. the accolades that are accompanying her departure from the american people and around the world give her such a boost. let me be a little bit more specific. there is no doubt that she leaves as one of the most popular secretaries of state in
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the history of the united states. that is a great accomplishment. that suggests that she accomplished what is most important. she was a tireless ally of the president. she was a real team player. most importantly, she brought good will on behalf of the american people abroad. that is a great accomplishment in her own right. given the legacy that she inherited from the previous demonstration where there was such resentment against the united states around the world. she earns an a1 in terms of diplomacy. as far as the achievements in the hard issues and challenges we face of broad, the record remains to be written. host: there are a lot of factors that go into any decision when it involves the president doing anything publicly. what is your best insight into why the president agreed or at 60 minutes to conduct the interview with him and the secretary of state and the other of the the-- -- the only
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other person has appeared with other than his wife. the question is why?
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